Forever Folk

February 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Area Events / Festivals, Forever Folk

An Open Invitation from Hank Weisman & The Savannah Folk Music Society

Hank Weisman

The 165th “First Friday for Folk Music,” Savannah’s monthly showcase of local and touring folk musicians, takes place on March 5th. It features first-time visiting artists, Dorian Michael and Cosy Sheridan. The show begins at 7:30 PM at First Presbyterian Church at 520 Washington Avenue. It’s smoke-free, alcohol-free and family-friendly. There is a recommended donation of $2 per person. Beverages and fresh baked goods are available for purchase at nominal prices.

Dorian Michael started playing guitar as a seven-year old in Los Angeles just as folk music was about to have a renaissance of sorts and earthy acoustic music was his first guitar experience. He has been a working guitarist for four decades and in that time has played plenty of blues and folk, jazz and rock and roll. There has always been a huge variety of playing experience from smoky honky-tonks to theater orchestra pits. At some point along the way he started playing a few solo fingerstyle instrumentals, made a CD and decided he needed to hit the road and see if he could sell them. Three solo CDs and four ensemble CDs later Dorian is still playing throughout the States and Canada. He calls his solo music “contemporary traditional”- original music that reflects his interest in a number of styles of music. These influences come through in his original material, but it is a contemporary music that grows from, rather than mimics, those influences. When he plays someone else’s music or a traditional piece, he always manages to add a few surprises. Says Dorian, “Some music makes you feel, some makes you think and some music is just for the fun of it. I try to get to all those places in the space of a performance.”

Cosy Sheridan has been called “one of the era’s finest and most thoughtful singer/songwriters.” She has played everywhere from Carnegie Hall to the Philadelphia Folk Festival and is the winner of numerous songwriting awards. Her music has appeared in best-selling author Robert Fulghum’s book, Third Wish, as well as on The Dr. Demento Show and NPR’s Car Talk.

Sheridan is a storyteller as well as songwriter; she moves seamlessly from lyrical story into song and back again. Her modern renditions of mythology (meet Hades as a biker) have won her fans and praise from the press. The Cornell Folksong Society says, “Sheridan is frank, feisty, sublimely and devilishly funny. She fuses myth with modern culture – Persephone with Botox.” She first appeared on the national folk scene in 1992 when she won the songwriting contests at both the Kerrville Folk Festival and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and released her critically acclaimed CD, Quietly Led on Waterbug Records. Folk Music Quarterly wrote: “When she’s accepting her Grammy, we can say we knew her when.”

Anyone not familiar with the music of Bill Staines is in for a special treat when he plays in Concert on Saturday, March 20th at 8:00 PM. For over thirty five years, Bill has traveled back and forth across North America, singing his songs and delighting audiences at festivals, folksong societies, colleges, concerts, clubs and coffeehouses. A New England native, Bill became involved with the Boston- Cambridge folk scene in the early 1960’s and, for a time, emceed the Sunday hootenanny at the renowned Club 47 in Cambridge. Bill quickly became a popular performer in the Boston area. In 1971, after one of his performances, a reviewer for The Phoenix stated that Bill was “simply Boston’s best performer.” A decade later, both in 1980 and 1981, the annual Reader’s Poll of The Boston Globe selected him as a favorite performer. In 1991 , Bill entered his forth decade as a folk performer with an international reputation as an artist.

Singing mostly his own songs, he has become one of the most popular singers on the folk music circuit today and averages around 200 concert dates a year. Bill weaves a magical blend of wit and gentle humor into his performances, and as one reviewer wrote, “he has a sense of timing to match the best stand-up comic.” His music is a slice of Americana, reflecting with the same ease, his feelings about the prairie people of the Midwest or the adventurers of the Yukon. Interspersed between original songs, Bill also includes songs ranging from traditional folk tunes to more contemporary country ballads and delights in having the audience participate in many of the numbers. He may even do a yodeling tune or two- having won the National Yodeling Championship in 1975 at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Kerrville Texas.

A number of Bill’s songs have been recorded by other artists including, Peter, Paul, & Mary, Makem and Clancy, Nanci Griffith, Mason Williams, The Highwaymen, Glen Yarborough, Jerry Jeff Walker, Grandpa Jones, Priscilla Herdman and others. Bill has recorded twenty-two of his own albums, fifteen of which are still in print. Additionally, Bill’s songs have been published in four songbooks, If I Were A Word, Then I’d Be A Song, River, Music To Me, The Songs of Bill Staines, and All God’s Critters Got A Place In The Choir. Two of the books contain nearly one hundred of Bill’s songs. Radio and TV appearances have included A Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, The Good Evening Show and a host of local programs on PBS and network TV. Bill continues to drive over 65,000 miles a year, doing what he loves, bringing music to people.

The Bill Staines concert will be at First Presbyterian Church as well and tickets, available at the door, are only $8 for adults and $5 for students and children. For information, call Hank Weisman at 912-786-6953, or visit: http://www.savannahfolk.org

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